How Tech Alliance executive is leading change
When Jenny Napier accepted a job offer five years ago to manage the Target store in Wenatchee, all she knew was that Wenatchee was in eastern Washington.
She consulted Google to figure out where the Apple Capital of the World was situated.
Napier told me she’s glad she accepted the job sight unseen. She loves the community and the efforts locally to increase collaboration and cooperation fit Napier’s mindset perfectly.
Today, she’s the executive director of the Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance and things area really starting to move forward with that organization.
Napier is the first paid executive director of the organization, succeeding Jenny Rickel who was volunteering her time along with members of the board of directors.
Her predecessor set the stage for Napier to take the organization to the next level.
It didn’t take long for Napier to fall in love with the community. She joined the Junior Service League of Wenatchee and started making friends and giving back.
Napier eventually left Target and became operations manager at Pybus Public Market before taking the GWATA position last fall.
It looks like she’s going to be contributing here for years to come. She’s engaged to be married this year and she and her fiancé Top Rojanasthien are buying a house.
GWATA, now in its 16th year as an advocacy and connecting organization in the tech sector, will have its annual Innovator Awards Luncheon on March 29. They are seeking nominations for entrepreneur of the year, tech-savvy business of the year, future technology leader and innovative use of technology in the classroom. Napier told me the theme for the luncheon will be virtual reality and that there will be a hands-on experience at each table.
GWATA has consistently done an impressive job encouraging the development of our technology sector.
This year, GWATA has an exciting lineup of entrepreneur panels scheduled. In April, they’ll focus on next-generation business owners, in July the emphasis will be on female entrepreneurs and in the fall proven entrepreneurs will talk about failures they learned important lessons from.
Another big emphasis for GWATA is encouraging and supporting efforts in education to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) innovations.
They’ve recognized the importance of thinking about not just today’s entrepreneurs, but tomorrow’s innovators and community builders.
It’s exciting to see the contributions being made by GWATA and the organization’s focus on building a stronger community for the long term.